Modcast Bulletin (Ep. 4)

This Modcast was originally broadcast on 11.10.11

The Modcasts keep humming right along and this one has to be my favorite yet – great discussion, good points/quotes, and all with the anticipation of Halo Anniversary mixed right in!

Thankfully we now have our hands on said title, but travel back in time with me as I hit the highs (and lows? 🙂 ) of Modcast Delta!

Appreciated Points:

Level “343 Guilty Spark”– The Jenkins recording was eerie, and “nailed the sense of Continue reading →

Fencing, food and fun – an evening w/Nintendo

Originally posted at GameSpot on October 9, 2010

On May 31, 2010 we went over to a friend’s house and between the good food and Catch Phrase, we were able to enjoy some good ol’ fashioned Nintendo.

Here’s the list of what went on:

  • This was the first time I got to play Wii Resort, and the fencing was something to behold – not to mention more of a workout than I anticipated! It was the closest thing I’ve played so far to a sword simulation, and just the little hint of strategy used (or tried to use) while playing made it fun. That said, I mostly just bashed away. A great time!
  • My daughter loved the jogging “game.” She went to town, running hard in place holding the remote – it was cute. We all played some bowling together as well.
  • Played several DS games with my friend’s son – he was really looking forward to it. I love the connection games give you to someone, no matter the age

 Post tenebras lux

But your saved game is in another castle

Originally posted at GameSpot on February 29, 2008

I seem to have a Mario theme going, and I’m going to stick with it – for at least one more post. I recently purchased Super Mario Brothers (the original NES game) for my DS and ended up taking it back within a few days.

Why, you ask? Simple – I wanted more than a port. Of course I loved the game on the NES, but now that I wanted to get it on an updated system I was hoping for an improved version. I don’t mean updated graphics or a ton of new levels, just something that shows me they put a little thought into bringing this treasured game to the portable system. Specifically, I mean a save feature.

I’m no game designer – but a save feature seems like something pretty basic to add. Maybe I’m in the minority, but you can’t honestly expect me to sit down and play through the entire game on my DS, do you? One of the main points of the system (or any portable, for that matter) is being able to pick up, play, and put down at a moment’s notice. Take away that feature, and I’m tethered in front of my DS the same way I would be a TV – thus instantly taking away one of the main reasons to play the game in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic game – but simply adding a save feature would have made me hang on to it. In light of the added save feature of Super Mario World when it was made portable, I feel it’s something Nintendo should have included.

Amazingly, Miyamoto didn’t call me when they were making the game.

Post tenebras lux

And Cobalt makes two

Originally posted at GameSpot on February 14, 2008

This past Saturday (Jan. 9th), my wife received her first gaming system, ever – a cobalt blue Nintendo DS Lite.

Having recently become the proud owner of a DS myself, I was more than happy for her. We had talked about getting her one after I had mine, and thanks to some smart shopping by a friend we were able to score the hard-to-find item.

As someone who really appreciates games, be they video game or other, I’m very excited that she has her own system. She’s truly enjoying it as well, with games like Mario Party DS and Puzzle Quest among her favorites.

Now, I have more multiplayer then I know what to do with! It’s going to be a great ride 😀

Post tenebras lux

New Year, New Hardware!

Originally posted at GameSpot on January 16, 2008

It’s been nearly four years since I’ve had a brand-new system, and to be honest I felt it would probably be at least one or two more before that event actually happened. But things have a way of turning out different that you expect, and I now find myself the proud owner of a crimson and black Nintendo DS Lite! Technically, I am not an owner yet – I just won the system on eBay today. And what a contest it was! But I need to back up. . .

The idea of even getting a DS, like all my good ideas, must be attributed to my wife. We were out on a much-needed date night, spending some of our Christmas booty when I mentioned the DS to her. . .again. I had been trying to get her on to the idea for a little while, but not pushing too hard. Then she offered an expression of pure clarity of thought that reminded me why she is one of the smartest women on the planet. To quote her exact words, she said: “Why don’t you just get one?”

Why don’t I? I mean, with the gracious generosity of family over the holidays, I actually had the cash on hand. And, equally just as important, I knew I had my wife on my side due to the fact that she suggested it. If I’m going to invest in something like a new game system, I want her on board – and I want her to play it too! So we talked a little more about it, and she was excited about the old Mario games, as well as the many board and puzzle games we could play together.

So now that everything has fallen into place to purchase the DS Lite, now I actually have to find one. I didn’t think it would be this hard – I mean, it’s after Christmas – right? Wrong. No one has them, and I mean no one. Not toy stores, department stores, actual video games stores, or electronic stores – no one. They all said the same thing: “No, and I don’t know when we’re getting more.”

Was this it? Was this the end of the line? Finally getting to this point, and then falling prey to the short supply of the product? Enter my ace-in-the-hole, eBay. It came down to a literal last second bid, but I beat everyone one out to score what I had been trying to get. Now it’s only a matter of time before I’m enjoying some dual screen goodness. . .

To sum up, I’m excited – excited about a new system I didn’t know was coming this soon, and owning my first portable system since my old Game Gear days. It will also be nice to play some Nintendo again; Microsoft has been getting all my money for the past few years!

Post tenebras lux

Never underestimate a gaming Grandma

Originally posted in GameSpot on June 2, 2005

If I’m going to talk about video games, then I have to start off by dedicating this post to my grandma. When I think about it, she was the first one to really get me interested in video games. Well, she didn’t start my interest – but she was the one to get my brother and I an NES so we could actually play.

Ah, our own system! No more would I be forced to sit on the sidelines at my friends’ houses while they played. No more would the phrase, “You can play the next game” bring a sting of resentment into my heart. My grandma bought us a system, and it was all ours.

You know how grandmas are. She had always spoiled my brothers and I, and the Nintendo was just another step in that process – a precious, precious step. God bless her! She had it all – cable, late bedtimes, and now a real NES for her grandkids to play.

But she didn’t stop there. What was different with my grandma was that she actually played the games with me. I remember countless times when we would play Super Mario Brothers. She would be Mario, I was Luigi (I always liked him better, I don’t know why), and we would go through the stages. Of course, as anyone who has played the game knows, the “2-player” mode on Super Mario Brothers only let the other person play when the other died.

Needless to say, my lives lasted a lot longer than grandma’s. I would play through many of the levels (especially the level-ending Bowser fights) while she would sit and watch, just happy that I was happy. What a gal, huh?! When I think of some in the previous generations today who think video games are a waste of time or refuse to even try to use new technology, she was a breath a fresh air.

One last thing: I know there are some people out there who play their games in this way, and if so, I completely understand. I still do it myself from time to time, if the pressure is high enough. What I’m talking about is the ability to mimic on-screen moments with your controller, or even your entire body in order to help yourself through the game. Come on, I know you know what I’m talking about – Mario jumps, so you move the control pad up when you hit “A.” Master Chief peeks around a corner, and you find yourself moving your head to the same side.

It’s an interesting (and sometimes unnerving) gaming phenomenon – and my grandma was the best at it. You could actually measure the height of Mario’s jump in real time by how high her controller went up!

So I raise my controller to you grandma – and thank you with every save, every stomped Koopa, and every 3-hit-combo.

Post tenebras lux